Meet the magical individuals who make our work possible: the small and mighty FotG team!
Emily pantalone: Founder
samara Andrade: Founder
Emily is a wellness consultant, yoga therapist, and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (Intermediate Level) based in New York City. She is the co-founder of Feet on the Ground - a non-profit whose mission is to support resilience in trauma-exposed populations through trauma-informed yoga practices and psychosocial education - and founder of ep wellness - a corporate wellness organization.
She specializes in pain/stress relief and trauma-informed yoga (TIY) practices, and teaches at offices, studios, shelters, schools, and conferences both nationally and internationally.
Emily holds a B.A. in International Relations/International Security from Tufts University and is currently studying body-based trauma resolution practices through Peter Levine’s world-renowned Somatic Experiencing® program.
She studied TIY practices with The Trauma Center (TCTSY), Hala Khouri (Off the Mat, Into the World), and Lisa Danylchuk (Y4T), and is humbled to have worked with such partners as Exhale to Inhale, Beyond Conflict, Hosh Kids, the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, I-ARC and more on her journey with this work.
Samara is an aid worker, yoga teacher, and movement educator based in Seattle. She has worked in international aid and development for 15y ears, including running psychosocial, peacebuilding and recovery programming for individuals and communities affected by conflict. She has taught yoga to aid workers, diplomats, refugees, police, veterans, and civil servants in Sudan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Syria and for immigrants, veterans and assault survivors in the United States.
Through her organization Feet on the Ground Emily and Samara have presented at conferences in Switzerland and Colombia, teaching workshops on the science and practice of embodied movement as a modality of healing and psychosocial support in trauma-affected communities. In partnership with Beyond Conflict, Samara is co-authoring the Fieldguide for Barefoot Psychologists – a book for refugees, internally displaced persons, and peacebuilders that puts knowledge at the forefront of mental health wellness, integrating the science of stress & trauma with self-care exercises that might help. Samara is also an integrated Yoga Tune Up® teacher, she holds a M.A. in International Policy Studies from Middlebury University at Monterey and is in the 3-year Somatic Experiencing® trauma resolution program created by Peter Levine.
Samara has studied yoga for traumatic brain injury, trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive yoga practices with Kyla Pearce (Love Your Brain), Suzanne Manafort (Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans, Give Back Yoga Foundation), David Emerson and Jenn Turner (The Trauma Center), Hala Khouri (TIY), and Lisa Danylchuk (Yoga4Trauma).
Becky Romasco Kelly: Monitoring and Evaluation
Becky Romasco-Kelly has been volunteering with Feet on the Ground since May of 2018 as a monitoring and evaluation intern. She currently works professionally as a public health contractor on a maternal and infant health and nutrition project in Nepal, and is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with her Master’s in Public Health. In addition she holds a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Colorado College, in Colorado Springs. She has worked previously as a project manager at local NGOs in the Sacred Valley of Peru, and at the international electronic medical records company Epic.
Her passions outside of work include exploring the outdoors, travel, and spending quality time with her husband Kyle and their adorable goldendoodle Aspen. Becky understands the importance of yoga and movement to trauma healing, and is grateful to be able to collaborate with such a compassionate group of individuals at Feet on the Ground.
Kayla MacFarlan: Social Media and Marketing
Kayla has been volunteering with Feet on the Ground since August of 2018. She is a full-time yoga instructor, teaching at Namastuy Healing Collective in Bed-Stuy, Dou Yoga in Clinton Hill, and to private and corporate clients around New York City. She received her 200hr TT certification from Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, under the instruction of Ali Cramer and Sheri Celentano.
Prior to finding yoga, she trained in classical ballet and modern dance at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. She has completed trauma-informed yoga trainings through both Liberation Prison Yoga, and Feet on the Ground, and serves with LPY once weekly teaching trauma-informed yoga at Rikers Island Correctional Facility.
Kayla is grateful to serve as Feet on the Ground’s social-media and marketing volunteer. She is inspired by Emily and Samara’s passion for this work, and honored to work beside them.